Make your home even more “green” with this eco-friendly LED light bulb called Nanoleaf. Unlike CFL bulbs, the Nanoleaf LED doesn’t contain mercury, and it’s sturdier because it doesn’t contain glass or filaments. The bulb also uses 88% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. We love that the Nanoleaf never overheats, making it safe for lamp fixtures that might be in reach of little hands.
Image by Nanoleaf
Who doesn’t love a good smoothie?! It’s one of the easiest snacks or meals you can make. Just pop a few items in a blender with some liquid, blend for 30 seconds, and you’re done. We like combining fruits, veggies, and healthful spices in one drink — not only do spices add nutrition, but they are a great way to add more flavor without adding more calories to your smoothies.
It’s easy to find good smoothie recipes — there are so many on blogs, social media sites, health Web sites…. Or, if you’re a culinary risk taker, create your own concoction by experimenting with ingredients you have on hand. The key to a good smoothie is the right balance of fruits and veggies. If just starting out, try a 3:1 ratio of fruits to vegetables and gradually adjust your drinks to include more greens. Adding ice and an organic apple makes it much more palatable and quite delicious, too!
Here are some of our best smoothie creations using healthful spices:
This smoothie provides plenty of fiber but tastes like a dessert! Cinnamon is a known anti-inflammatory and some studies have shown it can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Makes about 4 cups
Wash and slice apples into 2-inch chunks for easy blending. Remove pits from dates and slice into four pieces before tossing into mix. Add cinnamon and almond milk to blender. Throw in some ice to make this like an apple milkshake! Blend for about 30 seconds.
Turn up the heat with this cayenne pepper smoothie. Cayenne pepper can be used for heart conditions like poor circulation, and to help prevent high cholesterol and heart disease, according to WebMD. The pineapple gives this smoothie a tropical flavor and sweetness.
Makes about 4 cups
Wash spinach and apple. Slice apple into small pieces so it’s easier to blend. Add all ingredients to blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Add more ice to finished drink if you want it very cold. Enjoy!
This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary/health changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.
This is part of our ongoing series helping consumers better understand chemicals, chemistry, and product formulations. We translate the science, bust the myths, and give you an honest assessment, so you can make informed choices for your family!
Ingredient: Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)
What it is: Cholecalciferol is one of the two major forms of vitamin D. It’s what your body naturally synthesizes in your skin during exposure to sunlight and it’s also a commercially prepared supplement made from the lanolin retrieved from washing lambs’ wool. (Note: This form of vitamin D is considered okay for vegetarians because the animals are not killed, but vegans should find alternative sources of vitamin D — more on that below.)
What it does: We call it a vitamin, but vitamin D is actually a hormone that influences more than 3,000 different genes in your body and almost every type of human cell. Research is ongoing to help us better understand this uber-nutrient, but so far studies show the following health benefits:
Cholecalciferol helps regulate and enable the absorption of mineral nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. It also helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Vitamin D3 is involved in the regulation of hormones related to stress, and optimal levels have been shown to help reduce conditions like seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression, and anxiety.
Vitamin D acts as a macrophage in your bloodstream — large, specialized cells that are part of your immune system and attack foreign pathogens. Not only does it help defend against things like the cold and flu, but it’s also been shown to help prevent cancer.
A growing body of research also suggests that vitamin D might play some role in the prevention and treatment of both forms of diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, multiple sclerosis, and other medical conditions.
Why we use it: There are two major forms of supplemental vitamin D:
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) – Which, as mentioned above, is formed naturally in the skin when exposed to sunlight, is present in significant levels in certain fish and eggs, and is also commercially made from lanolin washed from lambs’ wool. (New, vegan alternatives manufactured from lichen have also recently become available and Honest is exploring this as an option for our formulas.)
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) – This form is synthesized by plants (commercially made from irradiated fungus) and is not naturally produced by the human body.
Initial studies conducted several decades ago regarding the efficacy of the two forms showed little difference between the two when addressing the occurrence of rickets in children. But more recent studies reveal compelling evidence of why vitamin D3 is superior for supplementation:
Vitamin D3 is approximately three times more potent than vitamin D2, and it also binds to the protein receptors in your body much more effectively. This helps maintain levels in your circulatory system and more effectively increase blood level concentrations for optimal health.
Vitamin D3 is more bioavailable, meaning it’s more quickly and effectively converted and absorbed by your body. Some sources say it’s up to 500% faster than vitamin D2.
Vitamin D2 also has a shorter shelf life (meaning by the time you get it, it might not be as potent as the day it was bottled) and it has a greater likelihood of impurities.
For these reasons, we chose vitamin D3 for our Health & Wellness products.
Why we’re featuring it today: People have asked us why some of our formulas contain more than 100% of the Daily Value for vitamin D, especially because it’s a fat-soluble vitamin that builds up in your body and can be toxic if you consume too much. It’s a great question and we’re happy to answer it.
To begin with, here are the levels you’ll find in our current products containing vitamin D:
Honest Baby & Toddler Multi Powder – 400 IU for babies and 800 IU for toddlers (100%)
Honest Kid’s Multi-Vitamin – 600 IU (150%)
Honest Prenatal Multi-Vitamin – 1400 IU (350%)
Levels of specific nutrients often exceed 100% because nutrition is a controversial science and there’s no unified consensus on what’s best for public health; recommendations can vary widely between credible institutions and experts. Let’s look at vitamin D:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends 400 IU, so that’s what the Daily Value is set at.
Dr. Oz recommends 1,000 IU.
Dr. Andrew Weil recommends 2,000 IU.
The Linus Pauling Institute recommends 2,000 IU.
The Vitamin D Council recommends 5,000 IU daily.
Since the FDA is the regulatory body that oversees Nutrition Fact labels, manufacturers must abide by FDA established Daily Values regardless if they agree with them or not.
It’s interesting to note that many nutritionists argue for higher Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) and Daily Values because they were originally established in order to avoid deficiencies, not to promote optimal health. According to Dr. Julian Whitaker, founder and director of the Whitaker Wellness Institute, “RDAs do define the levels of nutrients we need to prevent full-blown deficiency diseases. But they don’t reflect the modern scientific understanding of what nutrient levels promote optimal health, not merely the absence of major disease.” (Read more about what daily values mean.)
On the other end of the nutrition spectrum is the “upper limit” (UL), which is established as a safety threshold. The UL for vitamin D has been set at 4,000 IU daily by the Institute of Medicine. After reviewing the body of research available in 2010, they found adverse effects in people consuming 40,000 IU daily for at least 12 weeks and one case of toxicity at 10,000 IU after more than 7 years of daily consumption. There was no evidence of toxicity between 4,000 IU and 10,000 IU, but they tend to err on the side of caution.
As you can see, while our DVs are sometimes above 100%, they’re still far below what many recommend and well below risk thresholds. We offer health-promoting supplementation, but encourage you and your family to get outside and enjoy the sun to reap the full benefits of vitamin D. And, as always, before beginning a supplement regimen, consult with your healthcare provider to discuss what’s best for your family.
Dietary Supplemental Fact Sheet: Vitamin D. Office of Dietary Supplements. National Institutes of Health.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium; Ross AC, Taylor CL, Yaktine AL, et al., editors. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. 3, Overview of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D2 is much less effective than vitamin D3 in humans. Armas LA, Hollis BW, Heaney RP. . J. Clin. Endocrinol. 2004 Nov; Metab. 89 (11).
The case against ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as a vitamin supplement. Houghton, LA, Reinhold, V. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct; 84 (4) 694-697.
Do you ever find yourself scrambling for the perfect statement necklace to complete your outfit because you can’t remember where you left it last? Or maybe you’ve been late to work because you wasted five precious minutes trying to untangle the pile of chains in the bottom of your purse. Whether you are looking to get organized, or simply add a splash of color to your room in a totally new way, this DIY jewelry board is sure to be the perfect Saturday afternoon activity!
Organizing and decluttering is also a great way to reduce stress by bringing order to your immediate surroundings. If you have little ones in the home, you may also choose to mount the finished piece on a wall or cut your board in half lengthwise for the perfect display to lean atop a dresser. This will provide the same decorative organization, but will keep your things away from little hands and mouths.
1 panel of pine (21/32” x 18” x 48”) or any similar sized scrap or reclaimed wood
¾” cup hooks (12-20 pieces)
Non-VOC or non-toxic paint
Sandpaper or sanding block
Lay down your piece of wood and arrange a few necklaces of different lengths to get a feel for your spacing. Note that they will hang vertically, so you want to leave enough space that they will not overlap or get tangled. Use your pencil to mark where each hook should go. I chose to make mine randomly spaced with room for long pieces and shorter pieces, but if you prefer orderly and symmetrically placed hooks go for it!
Carefully drill about ½” into the wood in each spot where you left a pencil mark. Use a less is more approach when doing this to prevent from drilling all the way through the board.
Carefully sand your board to smooth the surface and edges of your board to prep for painting. Wipe away any wood dust.
Paint your board! Depending on the look you are going for you may choose to apply a coat of primer first but this is not necessary. Let dry overnight.
Screw your hooks into your pre-drilled holes and you’re done! Arrange your necklaces on the hooks and lean against your bedroom wall. You’ll never have trouble accessorizing again!
This DIY is a very easy one to adapt to any theme or decor of your choosing. Feel free to pick a coordinating color to match your room, or a contrasting one for a pop of color. You can also use a piece of reclaimed wood and omit the painting step for a more natural look.
Have you made anything to organize your jewelry? Tell us in the comments!
We all know how worry and anxiety cause such great distress in our lives, yet few of us know how to use a mantra to build a different mental and spiritual awareness. The word “mantra” has an exotic ring to it. Some say the word mantra has two parts: “man,” which in Sanskrit means “mind,” and “tra,” which means “instrument.” A mantra is therefore an instrument of the mind, a powerful sound or vibration that you can use to enter a different state of consciousness.
But with so many spiritual practices that are emerging today, a mantra doesn’t have to be a Sanskrit invocation of a Hindu God. It can be a non-religious, yet effective way to change your thoughts. As the saying goes, “Change your thoughts and you’ll change your life.” A mantra is a way to take a worry and turn it around. It takes your nervous energy and transforms it into positive action, creating a field of awareness for change to occur.
Identify your worry: I am sick and tired.
Create a sentence that is what you want in your life: I am in perfect health!
I learned so much about mantras from my mentor Mielle Vietor. She taught me to end all of my mantras with, “I am safe, I am free.” If something is not flowing easily into your life, it is often because fear is standing in the way. State what you want in a way that is both positive and focused in the present then add the phrase, “I am safe, I am free.” This reinforces your affirmation with confidence and faith and gives your mantra that extra gusto.
“Worry replaced with a positive present affirmation + I am safe, I am free!”
Keep it positive! You’re subconscious mind doesn’t hear the word “no.” So, avoid mantras like “I am not sick” otherwise your sub-conscious mind is still hearing “I am sick!” By way of example, the phrase “my sickness is improving” reinforces sickness not health! So if you are feeling ill using words like, “improving health,” or “abundant health,” which will work more effectively in a mantra.
Be in the now! A life-changing mantra will have the present as its focus. “I am” or “I know how to”…is the easiest way to get used to this. The idea is that if you keep your wants in the future that is where they will stay. Can you feel the difference between “I want to be healthy,” and “I am healthy now”?
Keep it simple! A powerful mantra doesn’t need to be long; it can be expressed in a few words or a couple of sentences. Choose strong, powerful, and efficient language that means something to you personally.
Feel it! Once you have your mantra, let the energy of the positive promise you are creating fill your being. This part is the magic! If you have done your mantra well this will be easy. If it’s not, try and tweak your mantra with words that fill you up, make you smile, and bring you ease. You only need a few powerful mantras that you can use your whole life!
“I let go, I lose control, I am safe, I am free”
“I am in perfect health, I am safe, I am free.”
“I am financially abundant. I am safe, I am free”
“I am doing what I love and love what I do. I am safe, I am free”
“I know how to balance my family and my work. I am safe, I am free”
“Every little cell in my body is happy, every little cell in my body is free” (This can be done to the tune of “mama’s little baby loves shortening bread.”)
Be faithful to your mantra—practice and you will see results! Mantras don’t usually bring a change overnight, they need to seep down into your mind and heart, but give it time and space and prepare to change!
Have any yoga-related questions? Leave a question for Jessica in the comments and she’ll get back to you!
This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of exercise, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.
Jessica James has been practicing yoga seriously for 12 years, and for the last 6 years she has developed yoga sets that sculpt the body and clear the mind as a teacher. During her second pregnancy, Jessica shared her own experience with a unique fitness based prenatal yoga program. She has completed 3 yoga alliance certified teacher training courses and currently lives in Malibu, CA with her family.